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When you are first starting out, it's often unclear where you should focus your attention on first.

In order to help you out with your online business, I've outlined the first big step you need, right here!

You don't need a fancy website set up or an offer ready before you can start building an audience. The first thing I wish I had done from the very beginning of my online business is set up an email list. I regret I didn't to this the right way from the very beginning, which is why I want to help you avoid that mistake.


The goal = capture your audience

Capture your audience, even when you don't have an online offer yet. You don't need a website, an expensive product or anything else…

You need to be able to capture your audience so you have an audience ready to market to when you DO have an offer or something you would like to share with them.


The first big step to build your online business = build your email list

You want to build an email list in order to capture your audience on a platform you own. Before you start selling your services or products, you want to create an audience you can reach whenever you want to.

Since social media platforms aren't your own property, you don't have any control over what will happen to it. You can get hacked and lose everything, or the platform can die a silent death… and you lose your audience.

You want to create an email list so you have the power to contact your audience directly.

In order to build your email list, you need to execute these first 3 steps:

  1. Set up an email service provider under your name and email address
  2. Create a landing page
  3. Publish your landing page and offer it to your audience on other platforms


Step 1: Set up an email service provider where you build your list

There is a variety of email service providers out there, and many people use Mailchimp when first starting out. The biggest downside to Mailchimp in my eyes is the fact that the usability is 0, especially once you start taking list building seriously.

I personally recommend the email service provider “ConvertKit” to build your email list. This is what I personally use and what all my business coaching clients use.

Fun fact about software: software is almost never perfect. There are always upsides and downsides to any email service provider, but I personally think ConvertKit is a great value for money provider, making it easy to offer different downloads (lead magnets) to your audience so you can build an audience faster than ever. I find the usability in Mailchimp is so low, it makes it difficult to create new lead magnets to capture your audience.

My advice? Take list building serious from the start and make it easier for yourself. Create an account on ConvertKit and get started decently from the beginning!

Create an account here to test it out with a 2-week free trial: www.fastforwardamy.com/convertkit


Step 2: Create your first landing page

Once you have an account on an email service provider like ConvertKit, you need to create your first ‘form' (an opt-in box which you can display as a part of a page) or ‘landing page' (a full stand-alone page that doesn't need to be embedded anywhere else) so you can lead your audience there. For the time being, don't worry about how you will get your audience to your page.

Bear in mind: your page needs to ‘convert', meaning: once someone lands on your page, you want to make sure it is visually appealing and easy to subscribe to or download from!

How to do this in ConvertKit:

  • Click ‘Forms'
  • Click ‘New Form' on the right
  • Choose ‘Landing page'
  • Choose any type of form you like, I recommend choosing a simple one that makes it easy for people to sign up. Let's say you choose the ‘Fremont' theme.
  • Give your form a name at the top left
  • Click the ‘plus' button under email address to add a ‘name' field as well

This is the main set up you need for your first form to capture your audience.

In the beginning, you can focus on the outline of your landing page and make sure the text and outline ‘flows'. Remember your goal is to get someone subscribed, which means getting someone to fill out their data and click the button is what the page should do.

There are a ton of extra things you can do in the settings, like adding a lead magnet, personalising your confirmation email etc, but we will not be talking about that here.

Save your page and click on ‘preview' to see what it looks like. Open the link on your phone to check if your mobile view looks good as well.


Step 3: Publish your landing page on your social media channels

Once you have finished your landing page, you can use the share link at the top to publish this page on your social channels.

How can you do this? For example, you can add it to the link in your bio on Instagram. If you want to use multiple links on your profile, you can use https://linktr.ee and insert your links in there and publish your linktr.ee URL as the website link on your Instagram. That way your one profile link can lead to multiple pages.

If you are working with wordpress, you can also give your share link of the landing page a custom URL by creating a ‘pretty link' of it. Install the prettylink plugin on your wordpress and it will be self-explanatory.

Bear in mind – this article is only outlining the first steps. What I would recommend is you not only publish a ‘newsletter subscribe' landing page, but actually that you offer a download (a so called ‘lead magnet' to capture your leads) in exchange for people's names and e-mail addresses.

There is so so so much more I could be publishing about this, and I will. I will also be hosting an online training on how to set up your online business and your email list, but that's for the future.

Everything in here plus a lot more will be featured in my ‘Core Content' course that's launching in a couple of weeks. If you want to stay updated about the launch of that course with special bonuses and discounts, subscribe here:

To recap:

In order to build your email list, you need to execute these first 3 steps:

  1. Set up an email service provider under your name and email address (I recommend ConvertKit)
  2. Create a landing page
  3. Publish your landing page and offer it to your audience on other platforms